Nothing is official yet, but the trend is not one of optimism. The invasion of the Russian army in Ukraine, ordered by Vladimir Putin, could also have consequences in the world of sport. In addition to the Ukrainian Championship already suspended for 30 days, the Russian selection could also see its calendar modified, its next opponents reserving the right not to face it.
This Thursday, a spokesperson for the Swedish Federation (SvFF) has indeed indicated that as things stand, it would be “almost unthinkable” that the qualifying play-offs for the 2022 World Cup, scheduled for March 24 and 28, be maintained. “As the situation stands today, there is absolutely no desire to play a football match in Russia,” Karl-Erik Nilsson told Reuters.
Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic stand together
According to the Polish daily Przeglad Sportowy, Poland, opposed to Russia on March 24, is of the same opinion, as well as the Czech Republic, possibly then on its way to join the World Cup in Qatar, in the event of victory against Sweden. A joint press release from the three federations has also been published to this effect, asking “not to play on Russian territory”, show their determination and compel the International Federation (FIFA) to take a decision.